Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Catching Up

A lot of this to do. Let’s begin by noting Starnet’s new design, which is certainly a step in the right direction. If you are reading this out of town you should know that this is the web site for Tucson’s morning paper, The Arizona Daily Star.

The Star, under the leadership of Robert Cauthorn, was one of the first daily papers to float itself on line. The initial look was elegant and simple. With the passage of time the look became cluttered and jittery. John Bolton’s new offering, while fairly complicated, is a great improvement.

I would be happy to pay for access, if I could have the content either ad free, or with substantially reduce advertising. Still, it would be graceless of us who have been pretty critical of the look not to wait to see how it all works.

Thanks, John.

Lost Wages

I spent the last weekend in one of my favorite places, America’s most American city: Las Vegas. I know this comment really twists some folks’s knickers, but the sheer audacity of the place seems perfectly American to me. A replica New York; the Luxor pyramid; Paris with one leg of the Eiffel tower piercing a hotel and casino; fantasy and make believe.

Another Very American Experience

On the drive home we pulled off the interstate just south of Phoenix to hit a Mickey D’s…the rest stop of choice for a pee and a Senior Coffee. While we were there dosing on fries and salt a homeless man walked in, talking loudly to himself about Columbus and the fact that you had to be an officer in the Spanish Army to be one of Columbus’ company.

He bought a large coffee and shuffled out on “shoes” that seemed to be held together by ragged socks. His clothes were not just old and dirty, they were an assemblage of rags. He was clearly “disturbed.” Disturbed, hell, he was as unbalanced as the national budget. Was he ‘happy?’ Enjoying his life? God only knows, but God, if there is one, probably weeps to think that one of his creatures is not better cared for by the rest of us. Surely this man deserved some modest care from the rest of us…some place to camp, to bathe, to receive rudimentary care and shelter.

I thought that this too was, sadly, a very American experience.

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